As Winston Churchill once said, ‘Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.’ And in the world of design, the Middle East has been the shepherd of innovation and creativity for centuries. Whether its eye-popping brochures for hotels you couldn’t possibly afford, or the billboard for the Maybach (which you can’t afford either), the rise of graphic design in the middle east, and particularly in the UAE is nothing short of meteoric.
Fonts go to strut their serifs and flaunt their curves on the skyscrapers and bright bylanes of many a city in the middle east.
Buckle up as we take you on a journey across the sand dunes and mists of time into a world where pixels in print convinced people to buy stuff they probably didn’t need. In the Middle East, storytelling is as rich as the spices in the local food and graphic design has always been at the center of any product marketing campaign since the early 70’s.
Over the decades the evolution of graphic design has included a few unique motifs. Whether its Arabic calligraphy, vibrant colors, geometric patterns, or a subtle sense of humor, graphic design has always been about audience engagement and brand building.
The 70’s and 80s were all about breaking rules and experimenting with traditional forms of design. Designers liked what they saw in the west but instead of aping it, put it all in a blender and added their own spices and toppings.
The 90s heralded a new approach with computer-based tools such as Photoshop. Regardless of the tools, designers in the middle east were quick to adapt and put their own zing into whatever they did, be it a cat food packaging or a swanky new apartment brochure.
In the UAE, graphic design has evolved from traditional Arabic calligraphy to modern design concepts with an Arabian twist. Graphic design played an important role in shaping the UAE’s personality as it grew into a global destination. Graphic artists embraced the natural aspects of the UAE and transformed them into unique emblems, from the famous palm tree-shaped logo of Atlantis The Palm to the majestic falcon representing Emirates Airlines.
In recent times, events like the Dubai expo are akin to a graphic design olympics. Designers flock to the emirates to show off their innovation and get obnoxiously rich in the process.
We have been doing this since we had luxuriant hair on our heads (sigh). We still do it, hair or no and love it as much as we did two decades ago! Get in touch with us if you want your brand to shake up your competitors in the UAE!!